6 Applications of The PCR Method in Various Fields
- 27, Oct 2021 10:25
PCR stands for Polymerase Chain reaction, which is a method or mechanism for amplification or propagation of specific DNA fragments in vitro with the help of polymerase enzymes. The PCR method is very often used in various molecular biology studies and other research specifically related to recombinant DNA or genetic engineering.
PCR has the advantage of being able to increase and copy DNA segments many times in a relatively short time. With the development of increasingly advanced science and technology, the PCR method has now been widely applied to various research fields. This is because the PCR method has begun to follow the needs of the times. The following below are some of the applications of PCR in various research fields:
Usually used to detect certain diseases or viruses in living things, both infectious diseases and congenital genetic diseases such as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), cancer, tuberculosis, haemophilia, thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, SARS-CoV-2 Viral, tumors, HPV (Human Papillomavirus), and many more. In the health sector, the PCR method is used to determine and detect the presence of specific genes for the disease or virus in each sufferer.
In the pharmaceutical field, PCR can be used to research, develop, and find drugs and vaccines. PCR in this field is used to monitor and find out how far the effectiveness of the drug or vaccine is through the calculation of the number of genes.
Identification of Pathogenic Organisms in the Food Industry
PCR is also useful for identifying unknown pathogens (bacteria, viruses, microorganisms). Traditional methods of microbiology take a long time to identify and characterize microorganisms. In addition, the possibility of contamination and infection is also very high, so the PCR technique is the best alternative for effective and efficient performance. Currently, PCR has been widely used to identify different strains of several microorganisms. In the food industry, PCR can be used to detect pathogens in food to maintain the level of food hygiene, food spoilage, GMO detection, and food content detection.
DNA Fingerprinting in the Field of Criminal Investigation
Each human has different DNA fingerprinting and characteristics. The differences in DNA and characteristics in humans are caused by the presence of genetic markers called STR (short tandem repeats) and VNTR (variable numbers of tandem repeats). STR and VNTR are repetitive DNA sequences that have a length of 6-10 nucleotides (STR) and 5-50 nucleotides (VNTR). It is certain that in the world no two individuals have the same STR and VNTR patterns, then amplification of the STR and VNTR regions can create DNA patterns that are unique to each individual. Usually this application is applied to the investigation of criminal cases. Identification of suspects and victims using the PCR method is commonly used for investigating criminal cases in each country.
Environment and Agriculture Field
The application of PCR in the environmental field is used for the development of a specific identity number (ID) in managing germplasm that is very abundant in nature. This is because there are different names for a plant with the same morphological character. In the environmental and agricultural fields, the PCR method can be used for plant breeding, analysis of genetic diversity using SSR, as well as the line selection process using molecular markers (Marker Assisted Selection).
Also, In the agriculture field, PCR is needed to verify the expression of certain genes in carrying out and creating GMOs (Genetic Modified Organisms). GMOs are genetically modified plants whose genetic composition is changed to create new traits that are economically superior.
Research and Technology Field
Other uses of PCR in the growing field of research include the manufacture of DNA libraries and NGS (Next Generation Sequencing), knowing the relationship between species in evolutionary science, knowing and tracking animal migration, sex determination, detecting differences in gene expression. between cells, tissues and organisms, research on gene therapy and antiviral therapy, and research on living things, including humans, animals, and plants.
So, that's some information about the application of the PCR method in various fields. Apart from the information above, you need sophisticated tools to support and expedite the PCR process.
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